I'm pretty sure that my title is longer than our visit to the Isle of Skye. You see, we had driven up to see one of the most famous castles in Scotland...
Eilean Donan Castle (which is absolutely spectacular!). While we skipped a tour of the castle, we searched through the gift shop for last minute Christmas presents and took lots of pictures of this beautiful castle. We were informed that Skye was only a twenty minute drive away and we looked at each other, walked back out to the car, and drove over there.
We drove over the Skye Bridge (previously one had to take the ferry over!) And took the first left at the roundabout to Kyleakin. This tiny village consists of some houses, a couple of streets, a small shop, and picturesque views. Oh, and the remnants of Caisteal Maol.
The remnants of the castle are accessible only at low tide and while I had boots, Aaron did not so we have to time our next visit accordingly so we can walk over. The ruins are from the 15th or 16th centuries, no one is exactly sure or seems to particularly care. According to legend, a previous castle was built for a Norwegian princess, who charged a toll to anyone who sailed down between Skye and the mainland. Legend states that she is buried on the mountain behind the castle, Beinn Na Caillaich, but local historians state she was buried in a location facing Norway.
Kyleakin reminded me of a New England fishing town, salty and simply beautiful.
Skye is stunning and I can't wait to go back. Kyleakin is not the largest village on the island, but it is the first one you come to. Portree on the north of the island is the largest but that is a several hour drive away once you get to Skye. While Skye isn't a huge island (60 miles long), it is full of peninsulas and bays, so a drive up to the very north of the island takes over three hours. I would highly suggest being very prepared because between villages, there is a lot of gorgeous scenery but not much else.